Written by: Michael Snyder
Article source: JOY! Magazine
Pope Francis has certainly said a lot of controversial things over the years, but what he recently told a group of Christian high school students is the most controversial of all. I know that may be hard to believe, because some of the statements that Pope Francis has made in recent years have definitely been extremely bizarre. For example, he has said that “Muslim terrorism does not exist”, he told a gay man that “God made you that way”, and he has referred to Christian fundamentalists as “a scourge”. But what he has just said tops all of those previous statements. Pope Francis told a group of Christian high school students that they should never try to convert others to Christianity…
The message of the Cross can change anyone, and nobody is out of God’s reach.
Butchering the Bible’s teachings
The Pope went on to say that the students should respect people of other faiths and not attempt to convert them to Christianity, insisting “we are not living in the times of the crusades.” Asked by one of the students how a Christian should treat people of other faiths or no faith, the pope said that “we are all the same, all children of God” and that true disciples of Jesus do not proselytise. In fact, the Pope went on to say that if someone comes to you and is trying to share the Gospel, that individual “is not a disciple of Jesus … but listen, the Gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism,” he continued. “If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.” Seriously? And in case there were some students that were confused about what he had just said, Pope Francis made the exact same point one more time…
What does Jesus say?
According to Pope Francis, Christians are never supposed to try to convert anyone. But this would seem to directly contradict the words of Jesus. The following are just a few examples:
“And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” – Mark 16:15-16
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Our only responsibility is to share Jesus
Of all the things that Pope Francis has ever said, this has me more upset than anything else by far. Does he really want billions of people to have no hope? Because without Jesus, there is no hope and no future for anyone. Even if you are able to have all the health, wealth, fame, and pleasure in this life that you could ever want, there would still be no future for you without Jesus. This life is not the end, and thanks to the Cross we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ. This is the greatest news that anyone could possibly ever receive, and we should be trying to share it with everyone that we can. But apparently Pope Francis does not think that we should be trying to share this message with anyone. What in the world is he thinking?
Celebrities turning to Christ
On the other hand, one of the most notorious rappers on the entire globe is now proudly preaching the Gospel and trying to reach as many people with the message of the Cross as he possibly can. For most of his career, very few people would have ever imagined that someday Kanye West would be a passionate Christian evangelist. But of course the truth is that the message of the Cross can change anyone, and nobody is out of God’s reach.
A new era
When I was encouraged to watch West’s new video entitled “Follow God” last month, I have to admit that I was impressed. It has already been watched more than 27 million times on YouTube. But what has impressed me far more is the fact that West has been encouraging people to give their lives to Jesus at his live events. Tens of thousands who would not have previously heard the Gospel are finding Jesus, with West preaching in unusual places such as prisons and airplanes. The American Bible Society promised free Bibles to Kanye listeners who would like a relationship with Jesus. In the first week, they shipped out over 10 000 free Bibles and were inundated.
Without Jesus, there is no hope and no future for anyone.
It is not how you start in life that matters
What really matters is how you finish, and I find it quite bizarre that Kanye West and Pope Francis are both running in completely opposite directions. West is trying to tell everyone that he can about Jesus, but meanwhile the Pope doesn’t want his followers to try to convert anyone. Of course both West and the Pope could change directions again tomorrow. Every day is a test, and all of us will face great challenges during the times that are coming. But at this moment, Kanye West is using every opportunity he has to preach the Gospel, and because of that I rejoice.
Date published: 16/02/2020
Michael Snyder is a writer, a speaker, and an activist. This article was originally published on his blog, theeconomiccollapseblog.com, and was reprinted with permission.
JOY! News is a Christian news portal that shares pre-published articles by writers around the world. Each article is sourced and linked to the origin, and each article is credited with the author’s name. Although we do publish many articles that have been written in-house by JOY! journalists, we do not exclusively create our own content. Any views or opinions presented on this website are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.